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Meta Launches New Assistance Tools for LGBTQ+ Owned SMBs

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Meta Launches New Assistance Tools for LGBTQ+ Owned SMBs

As part of the broader celebration of Pride Month, Meta has today launched a new mini-site, created in partnership with the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), which aims to provide support and assistance for LGBTQ+ owned small businesses via a range of tools, case studies, events and more.

The new mini-site is primarily focused on video tips, with a heap of content related to business management, funding and more.

Meta LGBTQ support site

There are also featured case studies, which showcase how various LGBTQ+ businesses have seen success via Meta’s tools.

Meta LGBTQ support site

As noted, the initiative is another element in Meta’s Pride Month push, which also includes a range of stickers and effects on Facebook, Instagram and Messenger to help users take part in the celebration.

The focus on SMB-specific support stems from the latest data, which shows that almost a third of LGBTQ+ small business owners have reported losses of 50% or more during the pandemic. 

Of course, most SMBs have been hit hard in the period, but Meta also notes that LGBTQ+ businesses often face bigger challenges in securing assistance:

“While 80% of businesses impacted by the pandemic expect to make a full recovery this year, it will be harder for the LBGTQ+ community as they face more barriers and points of discrimination when accessing capital, community building and future planning due to intersectionality.”

The emerging economic downturn looks set to exacerbate that pain, and as such, all communities need support, and the dedicated assistance measures for LGBTQ+ companies is another element in that broader push. 

On another front, Meta has also released a new version of its ‘LGBTQ+ Cultural Guide, which is designed to ‘educate and inspire authentic ways to support the LGBTQ+ community on our platforms and beyond’.

Meta LGBTQ+ Cultural Guide 2022

The 29-page guide includes tips on how to support LGBTQ+ communities, and insights into key trends and notes.

Meta LGBTQ+ Cultural Guide 2022

There’s a range of ways to show your support during Pride Month, and these tips provide additional guidance, both for businesses and regular users, in diversifying your spend, and helping to amplify the key messages of the event.

You can check out Meta’s new LGBTQ+ mini-site here and download the 2022 Global LGBTQ+ Cultural Guide here.

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Pinterest Focuses on Travel Inspiration and Education for Black History Month

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Pinterest Focuses on Travel Inspiration and Education for Black History Month

Pinterest is taking a unique approach to Black History Month, with a new ‘Find Your Routes’ Black Travel Hub initiative, which aims to highlight places that have strong connections to Black history, while also showcasing Black-owned businesses.

As explained by Pinterest:

“Find Your Routes” is inspired by The Negro Motorist Green Book aka “The Green Book”. The Green Book was a guidebook for Black travelers during the Jim Crow era that provided a list of accessible hotels, boarding houses, taverns, restaurants, service stations and other establishments throughout the country that served Black Americans patrons.”

The Black Travel Hub, which you can find here, will present a range of travel options, along with their history, with creators from the US, Colombia, Jamaica, Brazil and more, all taking part in presenting their city.

It could be a good way to provide education alongside inspiration in the app, while also helping people to connect, and support highlighted communities.

Pinterest will also be showcasing Black-owned businesses on Pinterest TV, while internally, it’s also hosting a company-wide event ‘to help employees gain knowledge about the history, present, and future of Black travel through the lens of Black Pinployees’.

As noted, it could be a good way to both spark important conversations, and inspire new travel journeys, which include an extra level of cultural understanding and education, along with a leisure break.

It’s an interesting take on the celebration either way, and it’ll be worth noting what sort of reaction the initiative gets, and whether it inspires more travel as a result.

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Snap Tumbles On Weak Revenue, Gloomy Outlook

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Snap Tumbles On Weak Revenue, Gloomy Outlook

Snap shares plunged after missing analyst expectations in Q4, while forecasting a year-over-year revenue decline.

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Snapchat Adds 12 Million Users in Q4, Posts Lower Than Expected Revenue Result

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Snapchat Adds 12 Million Users in Q4, Posts Lower Than Expected Revenue Result

Snapchat added 12 million more active users in Q4 2022, and Snapchat+ subscriptions continue to rise, but company revenue missed market estimates, in another mixed result for the private social app.

First off, on users – as noted, Snap added 12 million more actives, taking it to 375 million DAU.

As you can see, North American user growth is still flat, while European users saw a slight uptick. But it’s the ‘Rest of the World’, specifically India, which is driving Snap growth.

Which is helping to boost the overall usage numbers, and expand opportunity. But on the revenue side, it’s not pushing things forward in a significant way.

Snap Q4 2022

As you can see in this chart, Snapchat’s revenue has increased, but a key problem here is that it’s still reliant on the US and Canada for the majority of that spend, with other markets trailing well behind on the revenue front.

Snap Q4 2022

In this chart, you can see that Snap’s Revenue Per User has actually declined year-on-year – so while it is growing, it’s not bringing in revenue at equivalent scale, and it’s even going backwards in some respects.

Which is why its stagnant growth in North America is a problem – though Snap has also seen take-up of its Snapchat+ subscription service increase.

“In Q4, our subscription service Snapchat+ reached over 2.0 million paying subscribers. Snapchat+ offers exclusive, experimental, and pre-release features, and in Q4 we launched new features such as Custom Story Expiration and Custom Notification Sounds, providing subscribers with over 12 exclusive features.”

That’s a handy additional revenue stream, but as with all social media subscription services (including Twitter Blue), take-up is generally limited, and at 2 million subscribers, that’s still only 0.5% of Snapchat’s active user base that’s been willing to pay extra for these add-on elements.

Snap has also faced challenges in rebuilding its ad business, in the wake of Apple’s iOS 14 update, which has impacted data collection, and Snap CEO Evan Spiegel says they still have some way to go on this yet:

“We continue to face significant headwinds as we look to accelerate revenue growth, and we are making progress driving improved return on investment for advertisers and innovating to deepen the engagement of our community.”

Snap has seen improvement in its commerce integrations, which includes digital items for Bitmoji avatars which Snap is eventually looking to translate into real-world item sales as well. Snap also says that it’s facilitated over than 161 million product trials by over 35 million Snapchatters for Walmart, leveraging its Catalog-Powered Shopping Lenses at-scale.

Snapchat AR shopping

Those point to bigger opportunities, but right now, amid the broader economic downturn, and restrictions on data collection and targeting, Snapchat is in a tough spot, and will be for some time yet.

Essentially, then, you’re banking on Snap’s future, and its advanced tools that could help it better align with expanded AR and VR use. And Snap is seemingly in a good position on this front – though again, the impacts of the last year, which also forced Snap into lay-offs, will also have some effect.

Really, then, the results here are relative to your perspective.

For advertisers, more Snap users means more potential reach – but most of Snap’s growth is coming from outside the US. More advanced AR activations could become a bigger deal in future, but it depends on how you’re looking to connect, and product fit.

Investors won’t be overly happy with the numbers, but there are positive signs on the horizon. It’s just that the horizon, in this respect, remains well in the distance at this stage.

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